Microsoft changes Windows 10 Update log from text file to binary file

By: George Finley
2 minute read
Windows Update logs

For many people, a new update just means a couple of features they can judge at face value. This is because a large portion of the Windows community doesn’t really care for in-depth tweaks and intricate numbers to Windows features and functions. With that being said, there is an also a very large part of the community eager to find out everything that Microsoft has cooked up since the last update, and for that, they need to read the Windows Update log.

Changes were made to the log’s format

In the past, the Windows Update log would appear as a simple text file. This was very convenient for anyone that would try to access it because there was no need for anything other than a simple text editor in order to view and manipulate the update changelog.

With Windows 10, this system was changed. The latest iteration of Windows made it so that Update logs would appear as binary files. This is understandably a step back in terms of accessibility because not everyone has the necessary tools on their computer to access binary files.

A quick and easy solution

Microsoft immediately took note of the situation and provided a means for people to read the binary files that were once simple text files.

As of the release of Windows 10, all users interested in checking out the Windows Update changelog need to get the Windows-powered Get-WindowsUpdateLog cmdlet, which is a PowerShell cmdlet made available by Microsoft for this very purpose.

How it works

windows update log

The binary files containing the update log contain various Microsoft symbols. In order for the computer to access these symbols, they need to first run through Microsoft’s server.

While this made things a lot easier on users, it still poses a problem because people might not have access to an internet connection. Something as simple as having a problem with the internet connection means the user in question would be unable to read and review the binary file.

Fall Creators Update brings a fix

With the release of Windows 10 version 1709, it has become a lot easier to read the binary file because an internet connection is no longer required. To be more specific, users no longer need to establish a connection with Microsoft’s server before they can handle the Microsoft symbols in the binary file.

Speaking of the binary file, while an internet connection is no longer required, users still need to get the aforementioned PowerShell cmdlet.

But with that being the only requirement, reading the Windows Update has become once more fairly accessible and convenient.

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